The Ministry of Agriculture published a draft version of the list on Wednesday, which lays out what animals will be allowed to be bred for meat, fur and medical use, and includes species such as deer, ostriches and foxes.
The ministry is seeking public feedback on the draft list until May 8, it said.
In its statement, the ministry specifically noted the omission of dogs, saying that public concern about the issue and a growing awareness of animal protection had contributed to the species being left off.
In the Chinese city of Wuhan, the wet market that spawned the pandemic which has brought the world to its knees now slumbers quietly behind a tidy-looking blue-and-white partition.
The eating of dogs has become an increasingly controversial issue in China as pet ownership has surged.
It has been further brought to the fore by the coronavirus, which was first identified in patients linked to market in the city of Wuhan where non-traditional animals were sold for food.
The investor, the Fonterra Cooperative Group of New Zealand, one of the world’s largest dairy companies, had put millions of dollars into a partnership with the Sanlu Group, a Chinese maker of infant formula that was one of several found to have mixed an industrial chemical into milk powder to artificially raise protein readings.
Sanlu was declared bankrupt, and four of its executives were imprisoned. Fonterra was forced to write down the entirety of its investment of 200 million New Zealand dollars, or about $167 million at current exchange rates, in the Chinese venture.
Yet on Wednesday, Fonterra became the latest foreign company to make a new bet that it could turn a profit by bringing safer food to China. The company said it would spend more than $500 million in a deal with the Beingmate Baby and Child Food Company, a Chinese manufacturer of infant formula. A day earlier, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, an American private equity giant, announced an investment of about $400 million in China’s largest chicken breeder, Fujian Sunner Development, in a deal intended to improve food safety and quality.
“China is a completely different environment now; Beingmate is a completely different partner,” Theo Spierings, the chief executive of Fonterra, said on Wednesday in response to questions from reporters about the Sanlu episode, according to Reuters. “We are very focused on learning from the past and moving on to the future.”